Feature ·

[February 20, 2007] Heading to the record store? Here's what's new.

Our writers highlight a handful of notable records scheduled to hit the shelves this Tuesday. Plus, check the full list of this week's releases:




Or Give Me Death


Aqueduct is mainly David Terry, a tender-souled popster who records for Seattle's Barsuk Records. Originally from the heartland of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Terry relocated to the rainy Pacific Northwest in 2003 with copies of his self-produced Power Ballads in hand. As those CDs circulated, they garnered attention from huge local acts like Modest Mouse and Barsuk staffers. After 2005's I Sold Gold, this is Aqueduct's third full-length. It finds Terry pulling in more and more gadgets to expand his sound, to the point where it's hard to believe he did pretty much everything on here alone. ~John Zeiss

Band: http://www.aqueductisgoodmusic.com/

Label: http://www.barsuk.com/

Audio: http://www.barsuk.com/shop/bark063 

The Besnard Lakes

The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse


The Besnard Lakes definitely live up to the title of their new album, if you're looking for a band to come out of nowhere and satisfy your Beach Boys-harmony fetish. This is the second album from the Montreal band and first for Jagjaguwar. Keeping with the Quebecois connection, the same man who recorded The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse, Jace Lasek, has also done board work for Sunset Rubdown, Wolf Parade, Stars, and Islands. And guests who contribute to the album include members of Godspeed You Black Emperor and the Dears. ~John Zeiss

Band: http://www.thebesnardlakes.com/

Label: http://www.jagjaguwar.com/home.php

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/thebesnardlakes 

Jill Cunniff

City Beach

Militia Group

Full disclosure: I heart Jill Cunniff. As singer and co-founder of Grand Royal Record's pilot signees Luscious Jackson, Cunniff composed simple songs that commented un-assumedly on life's ups and downs. With a similar subtlety, the band performed with more slip 'n' slide finesse than bump 'n' grind funk. Most of my friends found this to be boring; I found it to be smart, sentimental and just right. In 2000, just as the group began to show pop promise, Cunniff departed to pursue a higher calling: motherhood. Six years and a bundle of rugrats later, three of the original members reunited to have another go at music. While the reformed Luscious Jackson currently works on releasing an album of children's music (record fashionistas, worry not: the kid's media scene today is geared as much toward children as it is adults-do yourself a favor and check out Dan Zanes), Cunniff has assembled her own record for me. I mean, us. In seriousness, Cunniff returns with her familiar hip and honest takes on life, albeit the 2007 edition. LJ, v. 2.0? So long as it's just Jill, what does it matter? (By the way, according to her site, "[a] portion of proceeds from this CD will go to benefit the Surfrider Foundation, a nonprofit grassroots environmental organization that works to protect and preserve our world's oceans, waves and beaches.") ~Dan Nishimoto

Artist: http://www.jillcunniff.com/

Label: http://www.themilitiagroup.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/jillcunniff 


You Can't Win

Yep Roc

Remember how cool the Dolorean from Back to the Future seemed when we were kids? Those doors! Well, Dolorean the band is pretty cool, too. You Can't Win, the band's third album, is another interesting example of how, along with recent releases from Apples in Stereo and Kristin Hersh, Yep Roc is expanding more and more beyond its signature sound: Dolorean is alt-country in the same way the Court and Spark is, which means just barely, and with lots of other things going on sonically on top of that baseline of honky-tonkness. If that description brings to mind Wilco, good: That's another band Dolorean recalls. ~John Zeiss

Band: http://www.dolorean.com/

Audio: http://store.yeproc.com/album.php?id=12122  

Electric Light Orchestra

Out of the Blue: Deluxe Edition


Recently, my friend Louis heard a gorgeously orchestral rock song on the radio and called the deejay to ask what it was. The deejay informed him the song was by ELO, and when Louis asked if all of the band's material sounded this good, the deejay responded coldly: "I suppose so, if you consider this good." This sharp story encapsulates the love-hate appeal of ELO. At turns infectious and affective, the band's music can also be derivative and embarrassingly earnest. Music cognoscenti may illustrate this dichotomy with the following: Coldplay is to Radiohead as ELO is to the Beatles. That comparison is a bit unfair, because both Coldplay and ELO chart an alternate, poppier universe than their musical predecessors, perhaps sharing more vision with each other than with their heroes. But although Chris Martin and company continue to mine commercial gold, Jeff Lynne's light parade began to fade after 1977's Out of the Blue. In many ways, the double album continues the florid visions of 1976's A New World, yet multiplies the fist-pumping drama. Legacy continues the group's reissue campaign with this album and adds three previously unreleased bonus tracks and new liners. Out of the Blue: Deluxe Edition offers a welcome chance to look back with saccharine. ~Dan Nishimoto

Band: http://www.elomusic.com/

Label: http://www.legacyrecordings.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/officialelectriclightorchestra 

Explosions in the Sky

All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone

Temporary Residence

So here comes Explosions in the Sky's fourth album, one with yet another cryptically interesting name. Al of a Sudden I Miss Everyone was recorded by John Congleton, who's also worked with the Mountain Goats and the Roots, in a studio in the backwoods of Minnesota. Instrumental-rock purists need not worry that the band might make the drastic move of adding vocals or getting electro-experimental with its sound. Explosions in the Sky is still four earnest young guys from Austin, Texas, who can all play the hell out of their instruments. It's that simple--but a lot of life's pleasures are, aren't they? ~John Zeiss

Band: http://www.explosionsinthesky.com/

Label: http://www.temporaryresidence.com/

"Welcome, Ghosts" MP3

Fu Manchu

We Must Obey

Liquor & Poker

Stoner rock never really broke through as big as it seemed like it was going to there for a moment, when Kyuss split into Queens of the Stone Age and Fu Manchu. But the genre keeps plugging along, as do the Fu fighters: We Must Obey is the Orange Country fuzz-rockers' tenth (Tenth! Who said stoners were slackers?) Main man Scott Hill calls the album's title "A big 'fuck you' to people who like to tell us what we can and can't do." Apparently age isn't dulling the band's brashness, which is a good thing. Included in We Must Obey's eleven tracks is a cover of the Cars' "Moving in Stereo." ~John Zeiss

Band: http://www.fu-manchu.com/

Label: http://www.liquorandpokermusic.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/fumanchu  

The High Llamas

Can Cladders

Drag City

Sean O'Hagan and the rest of his High Llamas are straight old school. They've been doing this summery fun-pop sound for more than fifteen years now, and doing it quite well. Can Cladders continues to dance with what brung the Llamas: bouncy Beach Boys joyousness, pretty oohs and aahs, lush string arrangements. Think from its title that the preview track from the album, "Winter's Day," is going to be some Damien Jurado-esque depressive dirge? Think again, ye uninitiated in the way of the Llama. It's the most absolutely pleasant few minutes on record since Yo La Tengo's "Beanbag Chair." ~John Zeiss

Band: http://www.highllamas.com/

Label http://www.dragcity.com/

"Winter's Day" MP3: http://www.dragcity.com/mp3/dc317highllwd.mp3  



Hydra Head

thrown his fan base for a loop with the release of last year�s Silver EP, Justin Broadrick takes a
hesitant shuffle back toward familiarity with Jesu�s latest full-length, Conqueror. The days of bludgeoning aural
assaults seem to be behind him, but Broadrick delivers enough muscle in his
metal/shoegaze amalgam to show that the rumors of him having lost his edge were
greatly exaggerated.
~Justin Sheppard

Band: http://www.avalancheinc.co.uk/jesu.html

Label: http://www.hydrahead.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/officialjesu  


Atlantis: Hymns for Disco


Further adventures in the hot-azz mess that is Wikipedia. The absurdity of this category is that it omits the all-encompassing vision of hip-hop pioneers like Afrika Bambaataa and subscribes to the na�ve division of "bad"/"mainstream" and "true"/"alternative" hip-hop. In truth, most hip-hop references widely, be it Humphrey Bogart mania de peitao and defies categorization. Just because its access to resources has increased doesn't mean it has lost credibility. Rather, legitimate criticism can be laid against its use of said resources; say what you will about Andre 3000's taste in cardigans, but how many emcees put their D on the line like that? Add K-os to that short list. An emcee/producer/singer/do-it-all who has already pushed multiple gold singles in his native Canada off of the indie equivalent of The Love Below, his latest, Atlantis hops, skips and jumps from b-boy paeans to emo spiritual hymns. Journey deep below the radar of hip-hop radio to see what else is crack-a-lackin'. ~Dan Nishimoto

Artist: http://www.k-osmusic.com/home.asp

Label: http://www.virginrecords.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/kos 

Charlie Louvin

Charlie Louvin

Tompkins Square

Charlie Louvin, a hellfire and brimstone-breathing country-rock original not heard from for a while, is back, with a little help from his friends. And some big-named friends they are: Jeff Tweedy, Elvis Costello, George Jones, Will Oldham, Kurt Wagner of Lambchop, Eef Barzelay of Clem Snide, and members of Superchunk and Bright Eyes all guest on the album. Songs are culled from those Louvin, who turns eighty in July, made famous with his brother Ira in influential duo the Louvin Brothers. Added to these are renditions of tunes from the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers and others. ~John Zeiss

Artist: http://www.charlielouvinbros.com/

Label: http://www.tompkinssquare.com/  

Elvis Perkins

Ash Wednesday


A celebrity father lost to AIDS. A celebrity mother lost in American Airlines Flight 11 on September 11. These facts are gross on every level. For the trauma of each parent's passing. For the confrontation with such bold killers. And for the cold marketing potential of each factoid. All of which would be for naught, if it weren't for Perkins's inherent talent. A singer with a pleasantly affected voice and a songwriter with a strong grasp of melancholy, he has proven to be a remarkable match for critic cynicism. In this manner, much of Ash Wednesday has made the Internet rounds and built a steady following for Perkins. Have a heart and check out the rest. ~Dan Nishimoto

Artist: http://www.elvisperkins.net/

Label: http://www.xlrecordings.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/elvisperkins

Richard Swift

Dressed Up for the Letdown

Secretly Canadian

The sheer number of dudes who craft folk jangle while sitting alone in their bedroom is astronomical; put them all together and they could probably fill the Grand Canyon. Here's yet another: Richard Swift, who is all Dressed Up for his sophomore release on Secretly Canadian. The label modestly notes that Swift played "a vast majority of the instruments" on the album. Others may have added little touches hear and there, but the end product is all Swift, shining with his wit. For proof, consider song titles like "Kisses for the Misses," "P.S. It All Falls Down" and "Ballad of You Know Who." It's Swift. Definitely Swift. ~John Zeiss 

Artist: http://www.richardswift.us/ 

Label: http://www.secretlycanadian.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/richardswift

"Kisses for the Misses" video: http://www.scjag.com/mp3/sc/kisses.mov  

Trans Am

Sex Change

Thrill Jockey

I've been sticking up for the underrated-ness of Trans Am since I was a college music writer, when I thought the band's 2000 album, Red Line, released right around the same time as Kid A, blew away that better-known work in terms of ambitious scope and size. Trans Am's most recent album, 2004's Liberation, a dystopic take on everything about its hometown of Washington, D.C., didn't get anywhere near the attention that similarly political works by Neil Young or Bright Eyes have. Maybe Sex Change will finally garner Trans Am the attention it deserves. Certainly the title is intriguing, as is the way the band members went about crafting the album: They started work on it in New Zealand with Chris Knox, then moved to Oneida's Brooklyn-based studio. When feeling blocked, the band would pick a random "obscene strategy" to break up the monotony, things like "invite all your friends over" or "pillow fight." The results reinvigorated the band's sound while not wholly moving it away from its blippy future-world leanings. ~John Zeiss

Band: http://www.transband.com/

Label: http://www.thrilljockey.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/transammusic 

2XL: Neighborhood Rapstar (Tommy Boy)
Anberlin: Cities (Tooth & Nail)
Andy Dick: Do Your Shows Always Suck? (Oglio)
Aqueduct: Or Give Me Death (Barsuk)
Arkansaw Man: Arkansaw Man (Table of the Elements)
Asobi Seksu: Spaceland Presents: At the Echo October 6th, 2006 (Kufala)
The Ataris: Welcome the Night (Sanctuary)
Audionom: Retrospektiv (Kemado)
B.B. King: Best of the Early Years (Ace)
BARR: Summary (5 Rue Christine)
The Besnard Lakes: Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse (Jagjaguwar)
Black Lips: Valientes del Mundo Nuevo (Vice)
Bob & Gene: If This World Were Mine (Daptone)
Bobby Conn: King for a Day (Thrill Jockey)
Bonnie Tyler: Very Best of Bonnie Tyler (Sanctuary)
The Boredoms: Super Roots, Vol. 6 (Vice)
The Boredoms: Super Roots, Vol. 7 (Vice)
The Boredoms: Super Roots, Vol. 8 (Vice)
Call Me Lightning: Soft Skeletons (French Kiss)
Calla: Strength in Numbers (Beggars Banquet)
Comeback Kid: Broadcasting... (Victory)
Culture: Raw Truth Extended Play (Groove Attack)
David Karsten Daniels: Sharp Teeth (Fat Cat)
David Rodigan: Kings of Reggae (Rapster)
Dolorean: You Can't Win (Yep Roc)
Donovan: Fairytales/Colours (Sanctuary)
Eats Tapes: Dos Mutantes (Tigerbeat6)
Electric Light Orchestra: Out of the Blue (Sony)
Eluvium: Copia (Temporary Residence)
Elvis Perkins: Ash Wednesday (XL Recordings)
Erasure: On the Road to Nashville (Mute U.S.)
Explosions in the Sky: All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone (Temporary Residence)
The Frames: Cost (Anti)
Free Zen Society: Free Zen Society (Thirsty Ear)
G-Unit/DJ Whoo Kid: G-Unit Radio, Pt. 5: All Eyez on Us (BCD Music Group)
Hell Razah: Renaissance Child (Nature Sounds)
Hell Rell: New Gun in Town 
The Hidden Hand: Resurrection of Whiskey Foote (Southern Lord)
The High Llamas: Can Cladders (Drag City)
Hot Cross: Risk Revival (Equal Vision)
Irving: Spaceland Presents: Irving in Spaceland November 1 (Kufala)
J.J. Cale: Collected (Umvd Import)
Jesu: Conqueror (Hydrahead)
Jill Cunniff: City Beach (Militia)
Jin: ABC (Raptivism)
Joakim: Monsters & Silly Songs (K7)
Johnny Cash: Best of the Sun Years (Snapper UK)
Julian Fane: Our New Quarters (Planet Mu)
K Os: Atlantis: Hymns for Disco (Virgin)
Laibach: Volk (Mute U.S.)
Little Louie Vega: Mix the Vibe: (Music Video Distributors)
Lloyd Banks/DJ Whoo Kid: Motion Picture Sh*t G Unit Radio, Vol. 6 (BCD Music Group)
LMNO: Workethic 
Lost Ocean: Lost Ocean (Credential Rec.)
Luke Slater: Fabric 32 (Fabric)
Luscious Jackson: Greatest Hits (Capitol)
Marnie Stern: In Advance of the Broken Arm (Kill Rock Stars)
Miles Davis: Essential Collection (West End)
Minus the Bear: Interpretaciones Del Oso (Suicide Squeeze)
Mississippi Mud: Mississippi Mud (Dubble Barrell)
The Nein: Luxury (Sonic Unyon)
The One AM Radio: This Too Will Pass (Dangerbird)
P.G. Six: Slightly Sorry (Drag City)
Peter Himmelman: My Green Kite (Rounder)
The Polyphonic Spree: Wait EP (Good)
Pop Levi: Return to Form Black Magick Party (Counter)
The Rakes: Remixes (Dim Mak)
Richard Swift: Dressed Up for the Letdown (Secretly Canadian)
Ron Franklin: City Lights (Memphis Int'l)
Samamidon: But This Chicken Proved False (Plug Research)
Schneider TM: Skoda Mluvit (Wichita)
Smoke or Fire: This Sinking Ship (Fat Wreck Chords)
Smokey Robinson: You Must Be Love: The Love Collection (Umvd Import)
Southern Culture on the Skids: Countrypolitan Favorites (Yep Roc)
Stevie Wonder: Down to Earth (Lilith)
Thirstin Howl III: Lo Down Dirty (Green Streets Ent)
Thunderbirds Are Now!: Spaceland Presents: Thunderbirds Are Now in Space (Kufala)
Trans Am: Sex Change (Thrill Jockey)
The Triffids: Calenture (Domino)
The Triffids: In the Pines (Domino)
Z-Ro: King of da Ghetto 
Z-Ro: Z-Ro vs. the World 

*Release dates may change. E-mail brandon@prefixmag.com with corrections or additions. 

Be The Riottt - Northern California's sonically schizophrenic culture expo My Morning Jacket Roseland Ballroom (New York City)
Week in Preview

Find us on Facebook

Latest Comments